Mandatory Military Training Film

Hopefully, Phil Snow is breaking down this game film frame by frame.

About a year ago, give or take a month, the slogan the team adopted for the 2016 Temple football season was Unfinished Business.

If not original, it was unmistakable in meaning.

The “Unfinished Business” was getting back to the championship game and winning it this time. In many ways, while the Navy game (high noon, Saturday) on the road is a challenging assignment, much of the heavy lifting already has been done. To even get this far again is a huge accomplishment and maybe the hardest part of the job.

Now the Owls have one more piece of business left to do and it involves a well-thought-out game plan that involves adopting some free military intelligence, courtesy of Air Force.


Hopefully, they learned something from the first game of the season that they can apply to the penultimate game. The Owls have to know by now that “business as usual” will not help them finish their overall business. Matt Rhule hinted as much post-Army game when he said his coaching staff will have to review how they attack a triple option team and change things up. The manual says nose guard (hint, Averee Robinson), tackles in the A gaps (Michael Dogbe and Freddy Booth-Lloyd), and eight in the box to string out the option.

Send more defenders than the triple option can block and create havoc in the Navy backfield. There is a little risk involved in this process that puts all the pressure on defending the pass on three players—the two corners and safety Sean Chandler, but that’s a low-risk and high-reward process the Owls will have to adopt on Saturday. They have the athletes to defend the pass with three.

One thing the Owls do know is that sitting back in their base 4-3 defense against this type of offense is not going to work, no matter how many times you say “Temple TUFF” or “Unfinished Business.” Of course, the Owls will have to remain true to themselves on offense, by running the football with a mixture of play-action passing.

On defense, though, they cannot be as stubborn as they were on Opening Night.

To win this battle, they have to do their good diligence in military intelligence and all the intelligence they need has been supplied by another branch of the fighting forces, the Air Force.

Tuesday: 5 Plays That Will Work For Temple


27 thoughts on “Mandatory Military Training Film

  1. Is it just me, or is Philip hitting the receivers better on the long balls?

  2. A glorious time to be an owl fan. In 4 short years, coach Rhule has done a fantastic job. He has laid a great foundation for success. As for the upcoming game with Navy, two teams that like to beat you down with the run. Look for a quick game and a close one. Thank you to the coaches and players for a great ride.

  3. If the coaches haven’t broken that game down yet, they are not doing their jobs.

    • Hopefully, they aren’t using the E-O copying machine today to fax resumes out instead. Just give me one (1) championship week without a single other school interviewing our head coach or asking to interview our head coach. “No thanks, I’ve got a championship to win,” should be the mantra this week if there is an inquiry. Unfortunately none of us could have said that last year at this time and I really felt it affected game day preparation. We spent the entire fourth quarter wasting time like Don Casey did throwing the ball around the perimeter in an 11-7 men’s basketball loss at Tennessee. It looked like we never practiced a two-minute drill or at least not that week.

  4. Everything seems to be humming nicely on O and D. Defending kickoff returns is a bit of a problem. But with some tweaking on D Temple can take this game. After that, maybe a bowl against Vanderbilt would be nice. Go Owls.

    • Is this freshmen kicker not capable of booting the ball out the end zone? Kick the ball out of the endzone and you eliminate the possibility of a long return. Problem solved.

      • It’s not that simple unless you know you can kick it 75 yards every time. Not sure if he has that leg yet. Even still, to kick it into the end zone, you have to kick it lower. if you don’t get it all, you’ve kicked a line a drive to the KR with all day to set up blocks and a head of steam. It’s risk/reward to try for the touchback without a big leg that can do it worry free.

  5. Air Force is playing a five-two defense, the one Wayne Hardin used. The key is to have a beast at nose tackle, which Hardin did in Klecko. Navy is running a four four variation, which I think is the better way to go, along with a five-two. 4-3 is a formula for a sure loss. Tu’s quickness is negated by the triple option because guys run themselves out of position. Owls also cannot waste time on offense as they usually do to their advantage because Navy’s offense is a time eater that limits their opponents’ total possessions.

    • we must attack Worth, get the ball out of his hands quickly.., the longer he keeps it the more dangerous he is.., Navy will score 30 or more points even we play our best defensive game of the year..,

      that means special teams and the Temple O must pull all the stops and put up points.., have Wright throw the football out of the wildcat, etc..,

      good news is we don’t have the distraction we had last year going into the conf championship

      • Ken Niumatalolo truly does a great job, not only on game day but in evaluating talent to bring to the Academy. Once Ricky Dobbs was done, I thought, “Whew. So glad that great quarterback is gone.” Then Keenan Reynolds came in and he was better than Dobbs. Now Worth comes in and routinely orchestrates an offense that has scored 66 and 75 on back-to-back Saturdays. Truly unbelievable.

    • Yep, we need to stack the box and make them try and beat us through the air. If they can beat us with passes so be it, but if they beat us because we use our base defense, that is a problem.

  6. To All: I have to offer Mike and the commenters on this article my complements. In fact, this year’s articles and remarks have been not only informative but flat out enjoyable. Although I’ve watched football for over half a century, I never played it on a serious level. So I appreciate the technical football analysis and comments as insights into the strategic aspects of this team and its strengths and challenges. But the ancillary issues like the stadium, bowl prospects, rumors, recruiting etc. are also great coverage of the Owls. Great stuff guys.

      • two thumbs up Mike.., I blogged on Pravda all the comments from the folks on Temple athletics payroll should be preceded by a disclaimer.., sometimes they are guilty of drinking their own cool-aide bathwater..,

        not this site, comments here are taken at face value without attribution.., thanks Mike

      • thanks, KJ. I’m confirmed aboard the Temple bus that leaves at about 5:30 a.m. from the LC, so maybe since they will funnel all the Temple fans into one uni-sponsored tailgate, this will finally be a great time to meet you. At least I hope to see you and all the great fans down there. I know you and Phil are from that area, as well as my friend Michael Britton and many more fans. We’re definitely going to have to bring the noise and support the kids.

    • most of us on this site have never played serious football so welcome to the team.

      • Depends on your definition of serious football. I know John Belli played at Temple for a Hall of Fame head coach and I played in one of the best high school leagues in America and suffered a torn meniscus and shattered ankle in two of my 4 hs years. I’m reminded of the seriousness of that level of football every time I step out of bed in the morning.

      • Mike, it is John’s and your football experience, as well as your experience covering football for all those years, and your sharing it with us that attracted us to your site.

  7. Yes, thanks Mike. For me it’s fun to read the straight forward comments. When some of you get technical I’m not always sure what you’re talking about, but it’s informative none-the-less. All I ever played was those backyard tackle games (like in the movie “Invincable”) against some guys on CBs varsity team, but never organized football. But the honesty of your commenters, positive AND negative, has been, shall I say, refreshing and lots of fun. Keep up the good work.

  8. Sadly Mike, I won’t be able to make it. Gotta watch the kids and hope they appreciate the sacrifice although I doubt they will. I will be there in spirit

  9. looking forward.., the next recruiting class has 19 commits and only two of the 19 have received offers from P5 schools.., we are stretching ‘the process’ to the limit next year

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